Monday, February 21, 2011

"So This Is America?"


That is the headline from Election Day 1972, I know, but it's also today's headline on das RANT. Listen, there's nothing wrong with recycling old headlines. Please get in touch with me if you hear of anyone named Lincoln getting shot, okay?

Today's headline refers to Ray McGovern. Ray is an acquaintance of my old pal Kevin Swanwick (photo left). I was introduced to Ray by Kevin a couple of years ago and you could not meet a more decent, gentle gem of a man. He happened to be attending a speech that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was giving last week at George Washington University. He was wearing a T-shirt which bore the image of a dove - not a bat, mind you (That would have been more my style!) - but a dove. He quietly got on his feet and turned his back toward Ms. Clinton. He didn't say a word. He didn't lunge toward her in any menacing way, He certainly didn't hurl a shoe toward her face. He just stood there. It was merely a silent protest against the Obama administration's disastrous policies in Afghanistan. He was then summarily hustled out of the place by a police officer and some guy in plainclothes.

While in custody he was bloodied up pretty good - as the photograph at the top of this piece clearly shows. At the moment he was seized, Clinton was criticizing the foreign leaders who would dare to oppress dissent. As he was being hauled away like a common criminal, he called out for all to hear, a rhetorical question which should resonate throughout the centuries"


Well, it was. Ray is seventy-one-years-old. I'm not making this up. From his Wikipedia biography:

"McGovern was a mid-level officer in the CIA in the 1960s where his focus was analysis of Soviet policy toward Vietnam. McGovern was one of President Ronald Reagan's intelligence briefers from 1981–85; he was in charge of preparing daily security briefs for Reagan, Vice President George H.W. Bush, the National Security Advisor, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Cabinet. Later, McGovern was one of several senior CIA analysts who prepared the President's Daily Brief (PDB) during the first Bush administration."

Hardly the makings of a left wing extremist, huh? As Swanwick remarked on his Facebook page the other day, "The guys who beat him probably have no idea what they owe him." Indeed. So what the hell, you may well ask, happened to the man that would turn him against the very government that he served so long, so well and so loyally? Simply put, Ray McGovern has seen the light. Maybe he found Jesus, who knows? This much is certain: the light he has seen he is now shining on a few uncomfortable truths.

And to anyone who wants to accuse him of being a partisan stooge, Ray's activism started during the Clinton administration. So there!

Ray was quoted three days ago on the website Press TV:

“There was no heckler. I was the person there. I said not a word. I stood silently with my back to the secretary, lest she get the idea that everyone in that whole auditorium agreed with her war mongering policies....I was standing silently, and I was jumped on by a man in a regular suit and then another person in a police uniform. I still don't know who jumped me, but I was taken outside where nobody was watching....For Hillary Clinton to be talking about peaceful means of protest in the same speech which she continued as she watched me directly in front of her being pounced upon and violated, is a little too much to take."

A little too much, alright. If the Secret Service were as on-their-toes as we are always led to believe, they must have been aware of McGovern's presence in the auditorium. Was it really necessary for them to rough up a man who is not only well known, but is a former military adviser to several chiefs executive? What the hell is wrong with these people? 
Ray's first major national exposure was five years ago when he confronted war criminal Donald Rumsfeld regarding America's illegal invasion of Iraq. Here is a transcript of that exchange which needs to be quoted in its entirety. It comes to us courtesy of the good folks at Democracy Now....Okay, I cut and pasted it without their permission. So sue me.

RAY McGOVERN: And so, I would like to ask you to be up front with the American people. Why did you lie to get us into a war that was not necessary and that has caused these kinds of casualties? Why?

DONALD RUMSFELD: Well, first of all, I haven’t lied. I did not lie then. Colin Powell didn’t lie. He spent weeks and weeks with the Central Intelligence Agency people and prepared a presentation that I know he believed was accurate, and he presented that to the United Nations. The President spent weeks and weeks with the Central Intelligence people, and he went to the American people and made a presentation. I’m not in the intelligence business. They gave the world their honest opinion. It appears that there were not weapons of mass destruction there.

RAY McGOVERN: You said you knew where they were?

DONALD RUMSFELD: I did not. I said I knew where suspect sites were, and we were—

RAY McGOVERN: You said you knew where they were, "near Tikrit, near Baghdad, and northeast, south and west of there." Those were your words.

DONALD RUMSFELD: My words—my words were—no, no, no, wait a minute! Let him stay one second. Just a second.

RAY McGOVERN: This is America, huh? Go ahead.

DONALD RUMSFELD: You’re getting plenty of play, sir.

RAY McGOVERN: I’d just like an honest answer.

DONALD RUMSFELD: I’m giving it to you.

RAY McGOVERN: We’re talking about lies and your allegation that there was bulletproof evidence of ties between al-Qaeda and Iraq. Was that a lie or were you misled?

DONALD RUMSFELD: Zarqawi was in Baghdad during the prewar period. That is a fact.

RAY McGOVERN: Zarqawi, he was in the north of Iraq, in a place where Saddam Hussein had no rule. That’s where he was.

DONALD RUMSFELD: He was also in Baghdad.

RAY McGOVERN: Yeah, when he needed to go to the hospital. Come on, these people aren’t idiots. They know the story.

DONALD RUMSFELD: You are—let me give you an example. It’s easy for you to make a charge, but why do you think that the men and women in uniform every day, when they came out of Kuwait and went into Iraq, put on chemical weapon protective suits? Because they liked the style? They honestly believed that there were chemical weapons. Saddam Hussein had used chemical weapons on his own people previously. He had used them on his neighbor, the Iranians. And they believed he had those weapons. We believed he had those weapons.

RAY McGOVERN: That’s what we call a non-sequitur. It doesn’t matter what the troops believe. It matters what you believe.

Don't tell Amy Goodman, okay?

, if you're looking for an authentic American hero, you need search no further than Ray McGovern. He is holding up a mirror for all to see. Obviously there are some who don't quite care for what is being reflected. Who could blame them?

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


Speaking Freely, Vol. 3: Ray McGovern on the Corruption of U.S. Intelligence

If the DVD is unavailable from your friendly neighborhood video store (Are there even any left???) here's a link to order it off


A friend of mine who goes by the pseudonym "Jefferson's Guardian" started a blog in July called, "No Corporate Rule". It's a must-read. Here's a link


AFTERTHOUGHT - 2/23/11, 2:01 PM:

WHOA! Did anyone hear the conversation between Scott Walker and the guy from the "Buffalo Beast" posing as David Koch??? PRICELESS!!!! Here is a link to listen on AlterNet:

Governor Walker Spills the Beans

Don'cha just love AlterNet? I sure do!


At 10:48 AM, Blogger Darlene said...

Why wasn't the story of Ray McGovern being 'roughed up' stressed on every national TV station? It should have been big news when an American citizen can't use his constitutional rights to protest peacefully.

This is another example of how we are losing Democracy piece by piece.

I have 'Jefferson's Guardian' on my blog roll now and, after reading his intelligent and pithy comments here, I am a follower.

At 11:06 AM, Blogger Dearest Friend said...

Just as striking as the dove on his shirt is the words above the dove, "Veterans For Peace." Is this how we treat our veterans who speak out?

Not trying to defend her but I wonder, was Hillary Clinton really aware of the incident? Let's hope someone set her straight on what happened later though I doubt it.

Scary that a child of the 60s would turn a blind eye on this sort of mis-treatment.

Darlene, the media is too busy making the protests in Wisconsin a "cute" story - a fluff piece. I watched ABC National news last night and was amazed at the coverage of the Middle East and how SERIOUSLY they took that. (Not saying the situation in the Middle East isn't serious, of course it is!)

Then, they went on to the protests in Wisconsin and some young lady in thick coat talking about the snow and ice there and interviewing one middle-aged mother about worker's rights and so forth. It reminded me of a "cute" weather story rather then a serious report on the issues! It ended with the quote, "They planned to continue the protests tomorrow" - said with a big grin as if they were reporting from a garden sickened me.


At 11:14 AM, Blogger jurassicpork said...

I think thuis is one of your best posts, Tom. Damn, wish I'd known about this sooner. It doesn't really matter which party is in power, anymore. This is Obama's "Don't tase me, bro!" moment.

Nothing changes from administration to administration. We're now officially living in a police state whether some of us want to believe it or not.

At 11:19 AM, Anonymous Mo Rage said...

Magnificent post, Mr. Degan. thank you for this. I just found your blog today, linking from Donna's "Just me" blog.

I protested the possible beginning of the Iraq War here in Kansas City on our Country Club Plaza before it began and followed the lead-up to the war closely. There were 13 intelligence agencies of our own government that, internally, again, before the war, said that Saddam Hussein and Iraq posed no threat to the US. It was reported on NPR and made known by Sen. Bob Graham, as I recall. That we went ahead with this horrible, tragic war--which also turned out to be so absurdly, financially costly, too--is so monumentally mistaken, wrong and now, being forgotten by what few people knew it.

For what it's worth, I'm linking from my blog to yours today. Again, thanks.

At 11:36 AM, Blogger Harley A. said...

I know nothing of this fellow so can’t comment on what happened. My belief, though, is that this kind of thing is far more common that we’d like to think. But, governments agglomerate power and wield it - that’s what they do first and foremost – don’t be deceived into thinking otherwise. No matter what the ideology or the good intentions out of the gate. Not that I’m against government – it is a necessity for a civil society. But, the tension will always exist between the need for a government to be strong and the danger of the government being too strong. There are credible reasons and a time and place for both ends of that spectrum. That’s why I feel the “strong” vs. “weak” government debate typically presents a false dichotomy. It’s not either/or – it’s figuring out how to have both – which is a tall order. untlerb

At 11:37 AM, Blogger Harley A. said...

"unlerb" is not a psuedomym of mine - messed up typing the word verification

At 11:46 AM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

A picture...or better yet, a video, is truly worth a thousand words.

At 11:46 AM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

Thank you for the kind words! Here is a link to Mo Rage's blog:

Not to shabby!

At 12:37 PM, Blogger Dearest Friend said...

Thank you for posting the video, Jefferson's Guardian! She didn't miss a beat...that's just mind-blowing.

Why are the protest songs of the 1960s going through my head?

"There's something happening here...what it is ain't exactly clear..."

At 12:45 PM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

Something is happening but you don't know what it is, do you, Ms. Clinton?

At 12:46 PM, Anonymous BOLTOK said...

You probably get my highest degree of agreement on this blog so far. I have been curious where the anti war people have been since Obama was elected. I wonder if they protest because there is a Republican in the White House, not because we are at war. I don't understand the change of tune.

Hillary, like her husband, is white trash and a hypocrite. I'd also like how the carpet bagger became anti Israel since she left New York. (I am not jewish.)

Is JG paying you per click for posting his link?

At 12:54 PM, Blogger Dearest Friend said...

Apparently, she doesn't, Tom.

I believe we are proof that with age, you don't necessarily become more conservative, right? I just don't get's disturbing.

Former staffers of the CIA and the White House coming forward and stating that there was NO reason to rush into Iraq, really. No reason for a lot of things.

If NPR goes away, these people that know of these things will no longer have a that's it, is it?

Hillary - shame on you, I used to look up to you...and don't dare compare yourself to Eleanor Roosevelt again.

(Or my fiery inspiration - Abigail!)

At 1:34 PM, Blogger Kevin Swanwick said...


If you don't know of Ray's writings, career and activism, please acquaint youself as Darlene has. This is a brillinat man, sharp as a razor and an expert analyst who spent a career establishing facts and understanding their meaning when the stakes were extremely high. He gets it right before he speaks or writes. If anyone is interested in going to his pending "criminal" hearing, to offer a silent protest please contact me on FB. Ray will be updating me in a couple of weeks.

At 2:41 PM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Boltok, one of the redeeming qualities of most people associated with the left is we are truly non-partisan when it comes to calling-out wrong-doing and poor governance -- something I've rarely, if ever, witnessed about my conservative brethren. Your misconception that the left is no longer railing against the wars (occupations) in Iraq and Afghanistan is totally baseless. Just last month, Chris Hedges and about 130 others, including many Iraq war veterans, performed a courageous act of civil disobedience before being dragged off to jail during a snowstorm. (But, of course you never heard about it -- you only watch Fox News. I forgot.) So put your misconceived notions that the left isn't still, very much, protesting this war. Can the same be said of the right?

To show you I'm sincere and not blowing smoke, I'm inviting you to join me at the upcoming March 19th demonstration, The War Machine -- International Day of Action, to protest against these dreadful occupations. I'll even sweeten the pot: I'll buy you a cup of coffee at the Caribou Coffee House, that's about a block from the White House. It doesn't get any better than that!

(Let this be fair warning -- be ready, and willing, to go to jail. Can you agree to this?)

At 2:50 PM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Kevin, I don't Facebook. Would you mind e-mailing the info about Mr. McGovern's court date to me? You can reach me at .


At 2:50 PM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

Count me in, Kevin. I'll definitely go with you! Let me pay for the gas.

On The Road Part II

At 3:54 PM, Blogger charles moore said...

Tom, thanks for making us aware of this and also sharing the links to other writers.

Dearest Friend has it right about the news media. I do not watch TV (just not interested) and prefer to get my news by reading, and here in Chicago, both "major" newspapers are not worth the paper they are printed on.

At 4:43 PM, Anonymous boltok said...

I'll give one example of my point on the change of tune. When W was in the WH, each week 60 minutes had 60 minutes of dismemberment and casket video, now not so much.

I am sure that there is constant base of protest, but I dont see anyone calling out jug ears as a war criminal nor the same obvious level of discontent. I apologize if I somehow missed that.

At 4:59 PM, Anonymous boltok said...

Also, if the invite was for me, I am not much of a protester. I am not good at demonstrating anger in public. I could possibly be coerced if you were offering tequila shots.

There is also no chance of my views becoming policy. I would bring almost all military home, double the carrier fleet, and load up on Ronnie's ray guns and the like. I would disengage from this tit for tat crap, but endorse swift asymmetric retaliation if anyone screws with us. I'm not anti military, but I really do hate this slow drip, endless waste of life and money through multiple occupations.

At 5:39 PM, Anonymous Brian said...

The hypocrisy in our Government whether it be one controlled by Democrats or Republicans is astounding. Were like a bad parent to the rest of the world, do I say do not as I do.

Funny how our Government condems other countries Governments for not allowing peaceful protests yet in the midst of Clintons speech, Ray is dragged out for his silent protest.

I actually read about this 3 days ago, for those that think maybe Clinton did not know what was going on, go and read the whole story. When Clinton arrived, everyone stood and as she took the podium they all sat except Ray who then turned his back to her. Being Ray was the only one standing theres no way for her not have seem him.

Our Government does a really good job at telling everybody else how to act, they just can't follow there own advise.

Clinton should be made to come on national TV and issue a public apology to Ray and them hopefully resign.

At 7:03 PM, Blogger Harley A. said...

On the flip side of this issue, you can’t just stand up like that and then resist the officers during the speech of a high ranking official. It just doesn’t work that way and he knows that. Some of the bruising could have been avoided had he not resisted. Freedom of speech, in fact, does not mean you can do what you want, how you want, when you want – there are limitations for security reasons. These officials are targets of nuts (not saying McGovern is a nut) all the time. And, I’m by no means any fan of Hillary’s. I’m sure there’s lots of truth to what he’s doing and more power to him. But, he knew exactly what would happen – he’s not some naïve college kid.

At 7:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What happened to Mr. McGovern is inexcusable! But then I remembered there is a Clinton involved, and then I remembered Vince Foster and then I thought, what the heck Chris Matthews didn't say anything about this, so it cant be all that bad.

At 1:02 AM, Blogger Dearest Friend said...

Oh, Dear God in Heaven,"Anonymous" because Chris Matthews didn't say it it didn't happen? The point is besides the inexcusable treatment of the man - NO ONE in the media has said anything about it. I believe Mr. Matthews would only gleefully point it out because Secretary of State Clinton was involved. Remember, she is only two or three heartbeats away from the the Oval Office and Harley A. has a point that this was also a security issue.

Still, any official of any kind who had this happen right in front of them and did nothing is in the wrong. To me, that would just be common courtesy.

It isn't news just because Chris Matthews says it is...

At 4:35 AM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Boltok, you said...

"When W was in the WH, each week 60 minutes had 60 minutes of dismemberment and casket video, now not so much."

Me thinks thou exaggerates way too much. Show me the data to back up such a claim.

"...I dont see anyone calling out jug ears as a war criminal nor the same obvious level of discontent."

Obama's a war mongering corporatist, no doubt, but to put him in the same category as war criminal, at this time, is premature. But the facts are irrefutable: Dubya is a war criminal, and should be (and eventually will be) prosecuted.

The reason the malcontent doesn't seem as obvious is obvious: People are worried about their jobs and their livelihoods -- something the Republican Party isn't even attempting to fix (as its candidates promised to do during the campaign).

At 5:39 AM, Anonymous boltok said...

You know the left better than I do. If the left continues to be anti occupation/war with consistent vigor, I will take your word for it.

I watch 60 minutes, the tone has changed there. Also, I dont hear any bitching and moaning about Guantanamo any more. May it's a problem with my hearing.

Jug ears is an undocumented, anti colonial, anti capitalist, anti ally, control and distribute mooselem freeloader in the white house. If you accept that he is such, you will understand where we are headed. I dont think cares one ounce about these wars, except to the extent he needs to keep his base in line. Anything that inflames the mooselem world and weakens our international strength and allies is quite OK with jug ears.

At 12:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Showdown Over Public Union Power

Government workers have taken to the streets in Madison, Wis., to battle a series of reforms proposed by Gov. Scott Walker that include allowing workers to opt out of paying dues to unions. Everywhere that this "opt out" idea has been proposed, unions have battled it vigorously because the money they collect from dues is at the heart of their power.

Unions use that money not only to run their daily operations but to wage political campaigns in state capitals and city halls. Indeed, public-sector unions especially have become the nation's most aggressive advocates for higher taxes and spending. They sponsor tax-raising ballot initiatives and pay for advertising and lobbying campaigns to pressure politicians into voting for them. And they mount multimillion dollar campaigns to defeat efforts by governors and taxpayer groups to roll back taxes.

Early last year, for example, Oregon's unions spearheaded a successful battle to pass ballot measures 66 and 67, which collectively raised business and income taxes in the state by an estimated $727 million annually. Led by $2 million from the Oregon Education Association and $1.8 million from the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), unions contributed an estimated 75% of the nearly $7 million raised to promote the tax increases, according to the National Institute on Money in State Politics.

Also in 2010, teachers unions and public-safety unions in Arizona were influential players in the successful ballot campaign to increase the state's sales tax to 6.6% from 5.6% to raise an additional $1 billion. Some state business groups also supported the tax increase in the vain hope that the legislature would roll back business and investment taxes. The public unions, by contrast, wanted the tax hike precisely to avoid government spending cuts.

In Washington state there was a ballot measure last November that would have raised $2 billion by imposing an income tax on those earning more than $200,000. The media portrayed the political fight as a battle among the rich. That's because William H. Gates Sr, father of Microsoft founder Bill Gates, supported the tax, while Microsoft's current chief executive, Steve Ballmer and founder Jeff Bezos opposed it.

But unions were the real power behind the scenes. According to, state and national SEIU locals gave $2.5 million, while the National Education Association and Washington teachers union locals contributed $900,000 to the $6 million campaign for the new income tax. In the end, Washingtonians voted down the tax, in part because they feared it would eventually be expanded to everyone.

At 12:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Add to above

And in New York, Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo has urged business groups to counter union efforts to defeat his budget, which cuts spending by $3.7 billion. In response, a group that calls itself the Committee to Save New York, financed by business groups and executives, has launched a $10 million advertising campaign in support of Gov. Cuomo's planned spending cuts for Medicaid and education, as well as his efforts to cut the cost of state workers' pensions.

I saw "Waiting for Superman" which shows how horrible and corrupt our public school system has become. I wouldn't be surprised if Tom Degan spent time in one of the New York "rubber rooms", working on his blog. The public school system has been destroyed by the Unions.

At 2:50 PM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Anonymous, you said...

"The public school system has been destroyed by the Unions."

Okay, so how do you account for the poor performance of public schools in non-union districts, found predominately in right-to-work states?

By the way, please cite your sources from that long, drawn-out ensemble of statistics, "facts" and figures. Suspiciously, I doubt whether you truly have the wherewithal to come up with that on your own (given the lack of spelling and grammatical errors). You know, plagiarism is a crime, but of course, given your political persuasion, maybe you don't care.

At 4:14 PM, Anonymous Browns44 said...


Come on now, you want proof from anonymous to support his position but rarely request same from a progressive post?
If you are accusing the poster of clip and paste then why would there be issues with mispelling?

Please address the questions and positions they bring up instead of deflecting them by going after the poster. It makes it look like you don't or can't face the the issues they posted.

By the way I have ordered Thom Hartmann's book as you suggested and will read as I promised.

At 5:17 PM, Anonymous boltok said...

I took a look at the table of contents of a recent Hartmann book. I wont agree with him on much, but I really do like the concept of congress wearing NASCAR patches. I am not anti corporation as you know, but if you receive money you should show where its coming from.

This is a double edge sword for the left, as I am sure you are aware.

At 6:05 PM, Blogger Modusoperandi said...

boltok "Jug ears is an undocumented..."
{citation needed}

"...anti colonial..."
This one doesn't even make sense (and not just because it's yet another smear from the fertile mind of D'souza). You do realize that:
1. If "anti colonial" is bad, pro colonial must be good. And yet at the same time the USA isn't an empire. Compare and contrast.
2. If the Founding Fathers hadn't been anti-colonial, you'd be British.

"...anti capitalist..."
Odd. For a while there, the State was the only thing holding up capitalism.

"...anti ally..."
{citation needed} (And, no, not sucking up to the worst hawks of Isreal doesn't make him "anti ally")

"...control and distribute..."
All government is taxation. The difference between parties is primarily in how quickly those from the bottom to the middle get shafted.

Classy. He's also an atheist. And the scaryangryblack kind of Christian. Simultaneously.

That monster! I knew there was something fishy about him. Winning that election. That bastard!

"If you accept that he is such..."
But we don't. To accept such nonsense would be to be held in thrall by the FUD of the Right.

" will understand where we are headed."
A bunch of stuff will be cut (note that this will disproportionately effect the poor and the elderly). Some taxes will be raised (note that this will disproportionately effect what's left of the middle class). It will take quite a while to dig out of what took thirty years to dig in to.

"I dont think cares one ounce about these wars, except to the extent he needs to keep his base in line."
Odd. If he was pandering to the Left, you'd be out of Iraq and well on your way out of Afghanistan. And yet you're not. Not really. Hmmm...

"Anything that inflames the mooselem world..."
{citation needed}

"...and weakens our international strength and allies is quite OK with jug ears."
{citation needed}
The Obama that lives in your head must be quite terrifying. Too bad that in the real world he's closer to Carter or Dole than LBJ or FDR.

At 6:09 PM, Blogger Modusoperandi said...

Browns44 "Come on now, you [JG]want proof from anonymous to support his position but rarely request same from a progressive post?"
To be fair, I regularly cite my sources. For all the good it does...

boltok "This is a double edge sword for the left, as I am sure you are aware."
I know, right? I'll be all "Hey! Both sides have mostly the same patches!"

At 7:45 PM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Boltok, you miss the point entirely. Mr. Hartmann (and millions of others who rail against corporate personhood) is not "anti-corporation"; he's anti-corporate personhood. There's a profound and significant difference.

Until you understand and grasp the meaning of what the legal fiction of corporate personhood means, along with all its insidious ramifications, there's really no point in discussing this. Furthermore, until you undertake the research of corporate charters in America; what they entail, and what they don't, you'll never have an appreciation of how corporate personhood goes totally against the reasoning and sensibilities of our founding fathers.

At 7:52 PM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Now, back to the topic at had...

I understand that after Mr. McGovern was brutally beat-up, jailed and finally released (some three hours after booking), he had to take a taxi to a local hospital for treatment for the wounds suffered due to Clinton's goons.

Unfortunately, this is least, what it has become.

At 7:53 PM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Sorry, that's topic at "hand"...

At 8:14 PM, Blogger RedStateFred said...

Tom, Since you brought up Rumsfeld, here is some extra info for you about Iraq:

Halabja poison gas attack

The Halabja poison gas attack (Kurdish: Kîmyabarana Helebce), also known as Halabja massacre or Bloody Friday, was an incident that took place on March 16, 1988, during the closing days of the Iran–Iraq War, when chemical weapons were used by the Iraqi government forces in the Kurdish town of Halabja in Iraqi Kurdistan.

The attack killed between 3,200 and 5,000 people and injured around 7,000 and 10,000 more, most of them civilians; thousands more died of complications, diseases, and birth defects in the years after the attack. The incident, which has been officially defined as an act of genocide against the Kurdish people in Iraq, was and still remains the largest chemical weapons attack directed against a civilian-populated area in history.

Tom is the above a Weapons of Mass Destruction event? If you say no then you are as bright as Tavis Smiley.

At 8:24 PM, Blogger Modusoperandi said...

RedStateFred, all I can say is that it sure is a good thing that Saddam Hussein was never our ally. I mean, if we'd provided him intelligence, satellite photography and analysis, and weaponry (as well as the technology and expertise to produce such terrible weapons) there'd be blood on our hands, especially we we promoted his excesses in his own country (and in Iran) by helping to strong-arm the UN in to avoiding investigating/censuring him, spinning his brutality to be not so bad and downplaying the conclusions of investigations that did make it through for the press and the public, and by not cutting off assistance to him.
Talk about egg on our face!

At 8:50 PM, Blogger RedStateFred said...


Was the Halabja poison gas attack a Weapon of Mass Destruction Event? You will just evade the answer as you don't have the balls to answer that one.

Should gun manufacturers be held acountable for the improper usage of a gun?

Should a knife manufacturer be held acountable for the improper usage of a knife?

Is it possible that at one time, Saddam Hussein was the best ally of the worst in a region of the world?

At one time we were allies with the Afghanistan Mujahideen which helped defeat the Soviet Union's army. Times change Modusoperandi, pull your head out of where the sun doesn't shine!

At 1:05 AM, Blogger Modusoperandi said...

RedStateFred "Modusoperandi, Was the Halabja poison gas attack a Weapon of Mass Destruction Event? You will just evade the answer as you don't have the balls to answer that one."
It was. It was so important at the time that, even after he tried to annex Kuwait, we still let him sit in the big boy chair. It only became evidence for his removal (not really, though, as the case for war was that he had WMD and was building up his capability to make more, and make worse, ones) once we needed an excuse.

"Should gun manufacturers be held acountable for the improper usage of a gun?"
Man walks in to gun shop, says to shop owner "You know all those guns and ammo you sold me? I just used them to shoot up a bunch of people. The cops are after me."
So the shop owner says "Oh. How much more ammo do you want to buy today? And don't worry about the cops. I'll keep them off your tail. Just don't let it happen again. Like last time. Or the time before that. Or the one before..."

"Is it possible that at one time, Saddam Hussein was the best ally of the worst in a region of the world?"
Have you ever noticed how often that happens? We support one monster we think we control to take out another monster (that one either being a monster that threw off the monster we used to support, or sometimes we needed to find a new monster to take out our own old monster).
Hussein to take out the mullahs (who took out our shah). Any number of thugs in Central/South America) to take out the commies (who, when they were actually commies we only commies because we supported the wealthy landowners and United Fruit), in Noriega's case, to the point that while we were supposed to "Just say 'No'" he was using CIA planes to fly drugs up our noses.
"He may be a son of a bitch, but he's our son of a bitch" is a good plan for being on the wrong side of our own [purported] ideals.

"At one time we were allies with the Afghanistan Mujahideen which helped defeat the Soviet Union's army."
1. Go to Afghanistan
2. Find the worst, most vicious brutes.
3. Arm them.
4. Train them.
5. After victory, abandon them (and their country).

"Times change Modusoperandi, pull your head out of where the sun doesn't shine!"
Do we support freedom, justice and democracy or don't we?

At 1:06 AM, Blogger Modusoperandi said...

Oh, and we supported apartheid. Because they were taking out commies. True story.

At 6:41 AM, Anonymous boltok said...

Corporations are essentially people in legal theory. Let say JG wants to start a business. You could do one of two things, be a sole proprietor or a corporatioin (or some similar entity).

You act as sole proprietor, some one slips and busts head on your property, liberal ambulance chasing lawyer sues you, you are broke.

Same as above, but you have a coporation. Lawyer gets the net assets of your corporation, not everything you own.

Corporations are simply a liability protection to individuals with assets at risk in some form of operation.

If you made a donation to someone as an inidividual or through the company you own, theoretically what is the difference?

At 7:04 AM, Anonymous boltok said...


Senate Republicans to withhold Democrats' pay

By Jason Stein of the Journal Sentinel

Feb. 22, 2011

Madison -- Senate Republicans voted Tuesday to make Democrats hiding out in Illinois come back to Wisconsin to pick up their paychecks.

The Senate Committee on Organization voted on a 3-2 party line vote, with Republicans voting in favor and Democrats against, to change Senate rules so that senators who miss two consecutive floor days can no longer have their paychecks dropped automatically into their bank accounts. The vote was taken by paper ballot, which allowed Democrats to cast their votes from out-of-state.

Democrats who have already missed two consecutive floor sessions will now have to come to get their paychecks directly from Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) on the floor of the Senate.

"The majority leader shall provide the checks only to the absent Senator and only on the floor of the Senate during a session day," the new rule reads.

Democrats have been holed up in Illinois to block a Senate vote on Gov. Scott Walker's budget repair bill.

At 9:30 AM, Blogger Ellis D., Esq. said...

boltok....a small closely held corporation is not what Citizens United was about. It's the large mega-corporations that have the assets to do great harm to society while pursuing their evil agendas. Look at all the idiots elected to office last November as a result of the unlimited brainwashing, um I mean advertising, that the Supreme Court allowed. Funny you are worried about all goes back to money and capitalism doesn't it ?? That is where the real problem exists.......

At 11:00 AM, Anonymous boltok said...

Ellis, as an example, almost all new york hedge funds and those bad investment banks are filled with dems. I got new for you, the dems have better corporate funding than the republicans. If you think republicans were elected because the stupid american populace was coerced in 12 months by republican corporate cash, you are not analyzing the situation correctly.

At 11:25 AM, Blogger Ellis D., Esq. said...

boltok...what makes you think I like the dems...they are the establishment too and also clueless as to social justice and ethics. I used to think the dems had some redeeming qualities but I now realize they are greedy capitalist pigs too !! I laugh that people call Obummer a socialist !! Maybe for Wall Street !! Not for Main Street !!

At 11:37 AM, Blogger Ellis D., Esq. said...

botok.....and as far as that advertising goes I doubt you even realize which propaganda was funded by these corporate interests. The Citizens United decision allows them to operate clandestinely below the radar !!!

At 12:08 PM, Blogger Modusoperandi said...

boltok, I've got news for you; corporations own most of both parties. The US Chamber of Commerce's allegiance is clear, however, (they know the GOP will do their bidding even better than the Dems will), and Big Healthcare and Big Healthcare Insurance took out ads and astroturfed the hell out of healthcare reform (again, not for the Dems). And Wall Street simply buys everybody they can. They can afford to. It's not like they're spending their own money.

At 1:58 PM, Anonymous boltok said...

Here is a corporation everyone on this blog will likely support.

At 2:10 PM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Boltok, please don't lecture me on the pros and cons of basic forms of business ownership. That's Business 101 stuff. I wasn't addressing this -- not even remotely.

It's understandable if you don't know what corporate personhood is; the vast preponderance of American citizens haven't heard the term, let alone know what it means. The mainstream media will not even say the word over the air (or put it into print) as if it's the auditory equivalent of staring directly into the face of Medusa.

I invite you to read my very first blog post from when I launched No Corporate Rule last July. Read Why We, the People, Are Losing, and then explore many of the other great resources on the web that delve into this issue in great detail. I suggest you begin your quest with POCLAD. They're probably the quintessential authority on this topic.

Do yourself a favor (and those who love you and those who don't) and educate yourself on the real issue that's behind the demise of democracy and the antiquated "American dream". It certainly isn't "big government", per se, that's robbing us blind, but rather the intimate partnership between government and big business, teamed-up together against We the People, that's dismantling our country incrementally, step-by-step, brick-by-brick, and dollar-by-dollar. It's happening right in front of your eyes, and they're pulling off such an amazingly spectacular sleight of hand, while keeping you totally preoccupied and looking "over there", that you're not even aware that they've stolen the shirt right off your back. Yeah, sure, you feel a draft, but you still haven't figured out the reason for it; you haven't taken the time to look right in front of you.

Boltok, please ditch your provincial ideas about why we're where we are today. Educate yourself on what's really happening. It's up to you. I can't force-feed you, and don't want to, but I'll be more than accommodating to share what I've learned since my own eyes opened a few years ago. It's up to you to take the first step.

At 2:30 PM, Anonymous boltok said...

Why We the People are losing.

Easy, the US population is fat, lazy, stupid.

We can spend $20,000 a head educating but the results will not change. Parents today are more interested in being friends with their little monsters instead of telling the to read, do math, and shut up when they are out of line. The little monsters now are the heads of households.

People want everything to occur without effort. And if it doesnt, there should be a union job offering middle class wages, retirement at 40, and full benefits till you croak.

This is why the typical American is toast. Its not because corporations can now counter the union thug political spending.

These people will not be bitching about corporations or in need of a union job:

At 2:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read this rather timely article in today's internet version of Foreign Policy Magazine.
Tom, maybe you could make this a link?

Defense spending and national well-being

"Saturday's New York Times contained an interesting op-ed piece by Charles Blow, titled "American Shame." The main item was a table listing the 33 countries designated as "advanced economies" by the International Monetary Fund and comparing them on various social and educational characteristics. Specifically, Blow charted income inequality, unemployment rates, level of democracy, the "percentage thriving" (according to the Gallup Global Well-Being Index), food insecurity, prison population, and student performance in math and science. The bottom line: The United States is at the bottom of the heap on most of these measures, and at or near the top in none.

It's a sobering collection of data, to be sure, but I wish Blow had added two more columns to his chart: 1) percentage of GDP devoted to defense, and 2) defense spending per capita. According to the 2010 IISS Military Balance, here's what those columns would have looked like (the countries are in the order presented by Blow, which reflected their summary ranking on the various measures, from best to worst):"

A Yankee in the land of the maple leaf

At 3:25 PM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

As I said, Boltok, I won't force-feed you.

By the way, unwittingly, you probably described yourself perfectly.

Good luck! (You'll need it.)

At 4:22 PM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

The corporatist governor, the union buster who gets down on his knees and prays to the altar of Ronald Reagan, and now the Koch brothers, was caught with his pants down...figuratively, of course...but caught nonetheless. It couldn't have happened to a nicer fella! ;-)

Way to go Mr. Murphy!, triple...kuddos to you!

At 4:42 PM, Blogger Ellis D., Esq. said...

The tip of the iceberg JG !! I guess Walker's caller ID wasn't working when he got that call. So now he looks like the fool he is....GOOD !! Now let's expose the rest of these idiots and clean house !! Best politicians money can buy and they ran a two for one sale last election !! Gee I hope Koch doesn't ask for his money back !!

At 4:43 PM, Anonymous botlok said...

Is the video clip Economic Hitmen on your blog a reference to the book Confessions of an Economic Hitman? I picked up that book recently but haven't read it yet.

At 5:58 PM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...



Gee, Julian Assange would be proud, wouldn't he? ;-)


Yes, it is. That's John Perkins, the author, narrating the video clip. Take the book off the bookshelf, Boltok, and read it! It's a great exposé of who our foreign policy really serves.

At 6:08 PM, Anonymous boltok said...

I bought it thinking it could be a good career guide. I'll critique it when I'm finished.

At 8:44 PM, Blogger Harley A. said...

On the fake Koch phone call. Not the best moment for the governor. But, the prodding by the liberal shill is by far the worst of the dialogue. He implicates the governor in words and thoughts that were not the governors. Classic yellow journalistic deception. Weak and pathetic.

At 9:38 PM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Harley, you said...

"He implicates the governor in words and thoughts that were not the governors."

If that wasn't Scott Walker talking, and articulating his strategy (along with patting himself on the back), gee, who was it?

At 3:07 AM, Blogger Modusoperandi said...

Governor Walker is not a tool of the Koch brothers. That's why when one of them calls, they get right through.

At 8:53 AM, Anonymous boltok said...

Dems/Corporations helping the poor:

At 12:20 PM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Boltok, it's democrats and republicans, tied to the purse-strings of their multinational corporate sponsors and benefactors. Both parties are guilty, although historically the GOP has been the one characteristically tied to the corporate umbilical cord. Now, both parties are charged. Although, and I'll emphasize this for clarity, more corporate money flows into the bank accounts of candidates on the conservative side than the less-conservative side (and you'll notice I refrained from using the word "liberal", simply because there are hardly any of those in public office anymore). But, I'll concede, the gap is narrowing.

You'll notice I'm an equal-opportunity political party criticizer. Both parties are corrupt and are doing the bidding of their corporate puppet-masters. I thought I've been very clear about this, as have Tom Degan, and Modusoperandi and others who comment on this blog. Although, and this is what's not apparent to you...yet...the Republican Party, and all its various wings and offshoots, is head-and-shoulders above everyone else in the corrupt and dishonest category.

At 12:37 PM, Anonymous boltok said...

I don't question for a second that Republicans have business roots. At least with them, you know that going in.

I am addressing the absurd piety of the left that claim the Republicans are on the take from business, and the democrats are not. Start with the wall street and hedge fund cabal, largely dems.

JG, I know you are aware that both parties are in bed with business.

At 4:13 PM, Blogger Harley A. said...

The only new information I learned from the fake phone call was that Gov. Walker did not give in to the temptation to plant trouble-makers in the crowd. I’m glad he didn’t. I’d hate for him to stoop so low as to encourage a person to pretend to be someone they weren’t for political gain.

At 5:15 PM, Blogger Tim said...

Yes it is America. We are still living with our freedom curtailed as much as when W. was in office. It will be years (if ever) before we live in the free country of pre-9/11/01.
If they thought that they could get away with it, they would probably insert a tracking device under each American's skin. As a traveler, I am keenly aware of just how much my movements are monitored.
As far as Obama and the current government, I think the Who sang it best:

"meet the new boss,
the same as the old boss"...

At 6:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jefferson's Guardian,

I just wanted to correct my grammatical errors of my post at 12:40 PM. You are one anal retentive code pink progressive!

Original post:
I saw "Waiting for Superman" which shows how horrible and corrupt our public school system has become. I wouldn't be surprised if Tom Degan spent time in one of the New York "rubber rooms", working on his blog.

I saw "Waiting for Superman," which shows how horrible and corrupt our public school system has become. I wouldn't be surprised if Tom Degan spent time in one of the New York "rubber rooms," working on his blog. 100 million dollars per year are spent on "teachers" who are not even teaching in the NY public school system. That is pathetic and no wonder tax payers have had enough of this bullshit.

At 9:36 PM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Harley, so you're saying you didn't learn that Scott Walker verified and confirmed that his intent, all the time, was to bust the public unions and eliminate collective bargaining? Didn't he deny this, publicly, prior to receiving his phone call from "David Koch"?

Furthermore, are you telling me that you weren't able to infer, by virtue of the fact that he couldn't wait to take "David Koch's" call, that he truly serves the private desires of the wealthy -- specifically his most prominent campaign contributor -- and not the needs of the people of Wisconsin?

It was pretty obvious to me, as it was to millions of others who listened to the recording. How could you miss that?

At 8:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

F.D.R. Warned Us NYTimes February 19, 2011

“It is impossible to bargain collectively with the government.”

That wasn’t Newt Gingrich, or Ron Paul, or Ronald Reagan talking. That was George Meany -- the former president of the A.F.L.-C.I.O -- in 1955. Government unions are unremarkable today, but the labor movement once thought the idea absurd.

Government collective bargaining means voters do not have the final say on public policy. Instead their elected representatives must negotiate spending and policy decisions with unions. That is not exactly democratic – a fact that unions once recognized.

George Meany was not alone. Up through the 1950s, unions widely agreed that collective bargaining had no place in government. But starting with Wisconsin in 1959, states began to allow collective bargaining in government. The influx of dues and members quickly changed the union movement’s tune, and collective bargaining in government is now widespread. As a result unions can now insist on laws that serve their interests – at the expense of the common good.

Union contracts make it next to impossible to reward excellent teachers or fire failing ones. Union contracts give government employees gold-plated benefits – at the cost of higher taxes and less spending on other priorities. The alternative to Walker's budget was kicking 200,000 children off Medicaid.

Governor Walker’s plan reasserts voter control over government policy. Voters’ elected representatives should decide how the government spends their taxes. More states should heed the A.F.L.-C.I.O. Executive Council’s 1959 advice: “In terms of accepted collective bargaining procedures, government workers have no right beyond the authority to petition Congress — a right available to every citizen.”

At 9:51 AM, Blogger Harley A. said...

JG - Didn’t miss those things – knew them already. That a high ranking official cow-tows to a large donor, for example, is no scoop. Liberal govs do the same. That he was anti-union was no secret based on what I’ve read (though admittedly I wasn’t following his career before now). And, anti-union people would eventually like to see unions broken up is no grand leap in logic.

By the way, can you hear the lack of interest of the people of Wisconsin? The “plight” of people earning salaries in line with the average voter and enjoying benefits that, in many cases, outpace the average voter hasn’t garnered a great deal of sympathy for some reason. Perhaps, because it is their own tax money paying for said salaries and benefits. It was a rude awakening for these deluded people.

At 11:38 AM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Harley, you said...

"That a high ranking official cow-tows to a large donor, for example, is no scoop."

So, why is it that conservatives, as yourself, are not outraged by this? Why is it okay with you?

"And, anti-union people would eventually like to see unions broken up."

Why, when the benefits derived from collective bargaining over the last century have benefited all working Americans -- union and non-union alike? Why can't conservatives see, and accept, this?

At 12:58 PM, Blogger Ellis D., Esq. said...

JG, not to mention that organizing workers in the private sector also serves to raise wages and improve benefits etc. IF employers were not stingy and greedy with compensation and benefits organizing would be unnecessary. What we are really talking about here is bargaining power. Without solidarity the first jerk who thinks it's a good idea to work for less than a reasonable wage undermines the bargaining power of all workers in that field. Only the self-employed can undercut others without creating a ripple effect resulting in lower wages. Self-employed persons who do a job for less are just not as greedy as those who would charge more for the same service. That is where virtue is its own reward. Those not self-employed NEED to organize to have the bargaining power to get a fair shake from greedy employers. This WHOLE issue is really about GREED. Welcome to capitalist Amerika where one percent of the population owns ninety percent of the wealth. To those one percent I ask " where is your sense of social responsibility ?? " Or don't they teach that at the elite schools you all so proudly hail from ??

At 4:04 PM, Blogger Modusoperandi said...

Okay, I posted this comment and it disappeared.

Anonymous "Union contracts make it next to impossible to reward excellent teachers or fire failing ones."
Wrong. Bad teachers don't get fired only because administration doesn't want to go through the trouble of doing it properly.

Harley A. "It was a rude awakening for these deluded people."
So you're okay with breaking unions long after they've given in to all the other concessions (and that after taking 16 days a year unpaid leave, etc), you're okay with "fiscally responsible" meaning "cutting revenue" and you're fine with them following California's model for [making it impossible to] raise revenues...
How are you with him selling off public assets with no bids and bypassing oversight, as in "heating, cooling and power plants" "with or without solicitation of bids, for any amount that the department determines to be in the best interests of the state" "[with] no approval or certification of the public service commission [public utilites commission]" (Senate Bill 11, para 16.896), although the Dept of Administration can petition the PSC to regulate as a public utility purchasers/contracts (pg 6).

At 7:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Friday, February 25, 2011; 4:02 PM

MADISON, WIS. - Demonstrators continued to throng the Capitol Rotunda on Friday after the Wisconsin State Assembly voted that morning to approve a budget measure to end most of the collective-bargaining rights of public workers.


At 8:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


It is naive to think that you can get rid of bad teachers who have tenure. Unless a teacher touches a kid or is convicted on a morals charge, or other crime I believe, it is next to impossible to fire them in most states. Tenure protects teachers from political winds, but is also a problem. Getting rid of tenure, or at least making it easier to fire poor teachers would be a step in the right direction.

At 8:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

you tell em anon 8:04PM!

MO is either a bad teacher or really dumb LOL

At 9:05 PM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Joel, I think your statement about firing teachers begs the real question, the one everyone overlooks: Is it poor teachers, that's the problem, or poor parents (literally and figuratively)? And, why is it the teachers are always getting tagged? Why isn't it ever the principals who are the problem, or the superintendents, or the school boards?

Comparing and contrasting, why don't we therefore blame the soldiers and airmen, and seamen and marines, when a military excursion goes haywire and blows up? (Pun not intended...really.) We never blame the "boots on the ground", but the blame for our nation's children not learning is always the teachers.

Taking this one step further, because I asked this previously during this thread and never received an answer: If it's union teachers who are the cause of our children not learning, how do you account for the poor performance of schools in non-union school districts (found predominately in right-to-work states)?

At 1:19 AM, Blogger Dearest Friend said...


I agree with your words about teachers. From personal experience- I remember seeing much loved GREAT teachers go away because of budget problems at our school. (Youngest teachers - you know "last hired, first fired rule") I've seen terrible teachers who are memorable because they were terrible but really, were when one looks back were only "terrible" because they had been teaching for so longer they either 1) were suffering from some disorder that no one knew or cared about - early stage Alzheimers or something or 2) were using methods that were very outdated or 3) (And the worst...) had seen long ago that the school board didn't care anymore, the parents didn't care anymore so why should they? These were the teachers I can remember saying "I'm not a prison warden! I'm a teacher, for Christ's sake!" (Or something to that effect)

I believe teachers of any age have something to offer and I owe much to many of them...maybe if they received more appreciation across the board for what they do, many of them wouldn't be so bitter (and who could blame them for being so?)


At 6:35 AM, Anonymous boltok said...

Hideaway in Rockford! Classic.

At 8:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

JG, I wasn’t putting blame on teachers for student performance, or lack thereof. I was just stating that tenure is a problem and it is difficult to get rid of teachers who don’t perform. Teachers are unique in that they are professionals, in the true sense of the word. Unfortunately they get lumped in with government and municipal workers as being just another union worker. It is sort of contradictory having professionals represented by a “labor” union, and like in private schools, in the best school systems they probably aren’t necessary. But I don’t see union representation of teachers as the problem.
I believe just like companies, school systems have a culture, or personality, which evolves over time, and as in the private sector is driven by management; being superintendents, principals, school boards and most importantly the community they serve. I think it takes more than a good teacher to provide a good education and ensure success of students. I think teachers should be well paid, but money is a small part of the problem today.

At 10:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"If you don't know of Ray's writings, career and activism, please acquaint youself as Darlene has. This is a brillinat man, sharp as a razor and an expert analyst who spent a career establishing facts and understanding their meaning when the stakes were extremely high."

Update on Ray. Ray has multiple substance abuse problems with heroin addiction being the worst.

At 10:12 AM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

"Update on Ray. Ray has multiple substance abuse problems with heroin addiction being the worst."

I love it how these jackasses who leave the most slanderous posts are always anonymous. Cowards.

Update on Ray: He is not addicted to heroin. He never has been.

At 10:37 AM, Anonymous Browns44 said...

So Ive started reading the book from Thom Hartmann, 'Unequal Protection', as I said I would.
And one thing that comes to mind as I read it is, aren't public employee unions providing unequal protection for their members?
Also, will you read a book I suggest?

At 10:48 AM, Anonymous Browns44 said...

Dammed corporations, they will make money out of any one misfortune.


At 11:00 AM, Blogger Harley A. said...

INDIANAPOLIS – The Society of Professional Journalists, through its Ethics Committee, strongly condemns the actions of an alternative online outlet this week when an editor lied and posed as a financial backer in a recorded phone call with Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.

Ian Murphy, editor of the Buffalo Beast, represented himself as billionaire businessman and conservative activist David Koch, a financial supporter of Gov. Scott Walker, so that he could gain access to the governor by phone. He spoke with the governor under these false pretenses. Read a full account from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

During the phone call, Murphy, as Koch, baited the governor with questions about liberals in the media and the Democrats who have vacated the statehouse to prevent a vote on a collective bargaining bill. Near the end of the call, Murphy tells the governor that once Walker crushes the unions and their Democratic base, he (as the pretend Koch) will fly Walker to California and “really show you a good time.”

Walker responded: “All right. That would be outstanding.”

“This tactic and the deception used to gain this information violate the highest levels of journalism ethics,” said SPJ Ethics Committee Chairman Kevin Z. Smith. “To lie to a source about your identity and then to bait that source into making comments that are inflammatory is inexcusable and has no place in journalism.”

The Buffalo Beast website was down as of Wednesday afternoon.

Though the Buffalo Beast purports to be an alternative news site with heavily slanted views that are neither fair nor objective, the fact remains that this interview was underhanded and unethical. Credible news organizations should be cautious about how they report this already widely reported story, and must realize that the information was obtained in a grossly inappropriate manner according to longstanding tenets of journalism.

SPJ’s Code of Ethics clearly states that journalists should “be honest, fair and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news.”

The Code also says to avoid “undercover or other surreptitious methods of gathering information except when traditional open methods will not yield information vital to the public.”

SPJ President Hagit Limor said what happened represents “a new low” for anyone claiming to be a journalist. “This may be how Hollywood portrays reporters, but no journalist worth his salt ever would misrepresent his name and affiliation when seeking an interview. Murphy should be ashamed not only of his actions but of besmirching our profession by acting so shamelessly.”

Journalists and news organizations should take note to carefully explain how this information was obtained and take measures not to engage in similar unethical practices.

At 11:46 AM, Blogger RedStateFred said...

Boltek, I get a kick out of your exchanges with Jefferson's Guardian and Modusopandi.

JG claims that the LLSM, Liberal Lame Stream Media, has been covering our occupations with the same fairness as when W was in office. LOL on that one JG.

JG, less and less people are watching the liberal's flagship channel CBS (Communist Broadcasting Station). There is not much liberal outrage about the amount of money Katie Couric is making LOL. She makes more than most Corporate presidents and CEOs.

Guantanamo is now getting the same LLSM coverage as when W was in office? LOL JG.

What has happened to the anti-war activists like Cindy Sheen and their nonstop hounding of W about our wars and their LLSM coverage? LOL JG.

We also haven't seen the caskets of our dead serviceman as much since Jug Ears got in by the LLSM.

JG you are the most arrogant poster on this blog. Keep up the narcissistic personality disorder posts.

MO, you are the best armchair General who posts on this blog who has all the answers after the fact. Keep up the funny posts.

Boltek, keep up the good posts for "fairness" on this blog.

JG and MO are you teachers in a public school?

At 4:20 PM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

RedStateFred, you're barkin' up the wrong tree, buddy. a supporter and defender of the mainstream media (MSM), I'm not.

If you're honestly reading what's written, it's obvious your comprehension skills aren't up to par. Please let me know where I stood up for, as you're so utterly mistaken, the "LLSM" (as you've ignorantly coined it).

If you haven't figured out, yet, that the mainstream media has consolidated over the course of the previous thirty years, and is overwhelmingly monopolized by multinational corporate interests (i.e. conservatively-owned and/or controlled -- not "liberal"), than your comprehension skills are understandable: You're blind.

At 4:30 PM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Browns44, keep reading the book. You should be able to answer your own question once you get into it.

As to your question whether I'd read a book that you recommend, that depends. What's the name of the book? Who's the author?

At 6:08 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

Poor little RedBaitFred! He better look out for that bunch of commies under his bed!

Only fascists are so Reich Wing to call corporate conglomerate media anything remotely liberal, let alone communist.

Sheehan has been marginalized by both the Democrats and the corporate media. Why keep hearing from a woman who lost her son to war criminals' power game, when we can hear what "Fascist Barbie" Palin has to whine about every damn day.

My, how "liberal" can the media get.

At 8:30 PM, Anonymous Browns44 said...

WHAT DO YOU MEAN IT DEPENDS? Only if you already read it would be the only reason not to read what I suggest!
Other than that, what limitations would you put on reading materiel I suggest?

At 10:40 PM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Browns44, if you asked me to read some of the "work" of, let's say, Glenn Beck or Sarah Palin, I'd have to respectfully decline. I'm generally not aware of any conservative commentary out there that's not rehashed garbage. I've never looked upon contemporary conservative thought as being enlightening or "Renaissance-like". As a matter of fact, anything I see on book shelves these days seems to only exist to serve the greed and purposes of the wealthy, which only confuses me when so many working and middle-class people buy into it -- at their peril.

But, try me. What do you have in mind? Who is it, what did he or she write, and most importantly, sell me. Why do you think it's illuminating enough that I should read it?

At 7:13 AM, Anonymous boltok said...

Liberals have a lot invested in their convoluted rational. First, the were probably raised by their parents to believe their nonsense, it is their religion. Second, to feel smart they need to surround themselves with other liberals, so all of their friends are liberals, it they break faith they will be all alone. Third, lets say you spent your whole life entrenched in a cult, then one day an intervention occurs and you snap out of it. How miserable would you feel to know that you wasted your entire life.

Do you see why reading or listening to something off the approved list is so dangerous? Do you see why they need govt money to pay for their radio and news stations? Do you see why they don't want to read something you suggest. I once mentioned Thomas Sowell' Basic Economics (I though they would like to hear from another black author). Not so much.

At 7:21 AM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

boltok, I try to be respectful to everyone who posts on this site, but I have to tell you that your comments are getting more idiotic by the day.

First of all, the area I live in is profoundly Republican - I don't know too many Liberals. Secondly, neither one of my parents were Liberals. I came to see the world as I see it through education - and before you accuse me of being brainwashed by "some elite, ivy league, eastern college" - it was a self-education.


Tom Degan

At 7:26 AM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...


And as far as defining Liberalism as a "cult" - Where can you find the progressive equivalent of Glenn Beck? People are literally worshiping at his alter. Rush Limbaugh's listeners cheerfully identify themselves as "Dittoheads".

You wanna talk about a cult?

At 8:20 AM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Tom, my situation's very similar. I live in a red state -- very conservative, where militarism is thought of very highly. There are very few "liberals" I interact with on a day-to-day basis. As far as growing up, my father was military and my mother was a military wife. Enough said. So, it's not like I was enveloped in a womb of liberalism.

My enlightenment came when my older brother came home during breaks from college, threw some books onto my lap, and said, "read these." Most were written by many of the contemporary progressive thinkers of the time, or were works of enlightenment in the form of essays, poetry, or short-stories of the time or centuries past.

Yeah, Mr. Boltok's definitely a piece-of-work, isn't he? I'm still curious as to why he spends so much time around those who believe he's foolish and irrational, instead of with those of his own ilk. The only explanation, and I've mentioned this before, is this is probably his job -- sitting on progressive sites and diverting the conversation. I suspect he's a contractor, working for peanuts doled out by The Heritage Foundation or the Hoover Institute (i.e. billing pennies for each inane comment that interrupts the conversation), or one of the many other right-wing propaganda machines.

As far as his comment referring to Thomas Sowell: Do you think he thought we'd latch on to Sowell's work and philosophy, and make it own own, simply because he's black?!?!?!

Oh, sorry, need to cut this off and run -- have a breakfast appointment with Clarance Thomas this morning. ;-)

At 8:26 AM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

...then, afterward, it's lunch with Michael Steele... ;-)

At 8:28 AM, Anonymous boltok said...

I think, by definition, a cult member does not believe he is in a cult.

Anywho, some video on liberal aversion to stereotyping:

I'm here out of altruism. If I can change one life for the better it is all worth it. I trust one day, you will say, "Thank you Boltok."

At 10:04 AM, Anonymous Btowns 44 said...

Tom said "where can you find the progressive equivalent of Glenn Beck?"

Special Ed Schultz for starters, you yourself post on his website, then look at your own blogg and the reaction to the firing of Obermann.

JG you suggest I read a book that opened your eyes and I start to do so. I promise to respectfully ask questions where I either disagree or am not clear about. The 1st question I ask you about the book, you answer with read more, the answers in there. WOW some insight!

Now you say you have self imposed limitations on what you will read because in your own words "I'm generally not aware of any conservative commentary out there that's not rehashed garbage." Further you state "anything I see on book shelves these days seems to only exist to serve the greed and purposes of the wealthy, which only confuses me when so many working and middle-class people buy into it".
Is this an example of the open minded liberal/progressive that I as a conservative am told I need to have? Your mind is already made up and there is nothing that will change it. You call that being liberal? SHAME ON YOU. Your position is if it doesn't agree or support what you already beleive, then your not going to expose your self to it.
With this mind set can you see why today's conservatives laugh at the liberal call for compromise?

Boltok, I knew this would be the outcome of agreeing to read a book that "would open my mind". I'm just shocked that it took only one question from me to bring it to the surface.

Since I know MO will pipe in with his "pithy liberal, socialist response, let me address him in advance, MO, I really don't give the swines ass that you are what you think or say.

At 10:07 AM, Anonymous Browns44 said...

Now as for the book I would like that in a delusional state of optimism I hoped JG might read and comment on, silly me, is
NEW DEAL OR RAW DEAL, by Professor Burton W. Folsom. Here is the link to where you at least read it's reviews.

By the way JG, will you refund me the $19.95 I spent to buy the book your recommended?

At 10:16 AM, Anonymous boltok said...

Get the progressive books from the public library. The library is filled with donated books that no one wants.

At 10:33 AM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

Crushing unions is a top priority for totalitarians. Yes, Republicans are totalitarians. Unprovoked war, rigged elections, voter suppression, torture, and indefinite detention without charges or counsel, are all indications that Republicans are fascists. Unfortunately too many corporatist Democrats are collaborating with the growing fascism.

Politics of the radical Right and fascism are like a religion, or more accurately, a cult. It is the propagation of an ideological, pseudo-Christian, authoritarian belief system. It has nothing to do with democracy, compassion, or the common good, and everything to do with reinforcing the totalitarian plutocratic power of the economic elite.

Authoritarian leaders and FOX(R) spew the dogma which the authoritarian followers accept without question, for they are indoctrinated to believe that “conservatism” (aka interests of the economic elite) is morally superior to the “liberalism” (aka democratic ideals) that they must portray as godless, communistic, anti-family, and unpatriotic. The radical Right is incapable of accepting any information that contradicts their belief system. They are a cult.

Just look at the most rabid anti-union, anti-worker, and anti-bargaining rights forces, and the lines are clear. Arab Dictators, Fascists, Communists...and Republicans all need to suppress the people in order to hold power. This is nothing less than the struggle between democracy and totalitarianism.

At 11:32 AM, Anonymous Browns44 said...

Hey Dave Dubya,

Explain this article by Matthew Vadum giving an another example of the left's desire and efforts to crush the USA.

"As a wave of left-wing violence threatens to engulf the nation, why is the progressive New York Times running an ugly campaign of character assassination against a real-life American hero who saved lives and helped to safeguard the nation’s sacred democratic process?

Could it be because the newspaper is sympathetic to the goals of the thuggish community organizers and union goons intimidating state legislatures across America and wants to help advance the liberal-left narrative?
The man with the bull’s eye on his back is Brandon Darby, formerly a far-left community organizer. This heroic defector from the Left stands accused by the New York Times and by angry radical groups of becoming an agent provocateur. Unhinged anarchists across the country would love to get their hands on him.

All over the Internet Darby’s name has been dragged through the mud by the Daily Kos and Crooks and Liars crowd. They accuse him of selling out and pushing the wrongdoers hard enough that he essentially became a co-conspirator. Search for his name with the words traitor, rat, or fink and you’ll see what I mean.

Darby got to this point after years of leading in-your-face protests, using confrontational tactics, and working with America-haters. But he experienced an epiphany and rejected the radical Left and its ever-present culture of political violence. He came to realize that America, for all its faults, wasn’t such a bad place after all. “I felt I had a duty to atone after badmouthing my country for so many years,” he said. “I love my country.”

At 11:33 AM, Anonymous Browns44 said...

The change of heart happened around the time he returned from socialist Venezuela where he had been trying to get the government there to donate to his nonprofit group. While in that country high officials in Hugo Chavez’s administration tried to get Darby to launch a terrorist network in Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina. Darby refused.

After he returned to the U.S. Darby learned two anarchists wanted to attack the 2008 Republican National Convention. Darby offered his assistance to the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force and, at the FBI’s request, infiltrated a left-wing group that hoped to lay siege to the GOP convention that nominated the presidential ticket of John McCain and Sarah Palin.

The FBI sent Darby to meet with the plotters. “It was a group of people whose explicit purpose was to organize a group of ‘black bloc’ anarchists to shut the Republican convention down by any means necessary,” he explained. “They showed videos of people throwing Molotov cocktails, and they were giving people ideas.”

The 20-something plotters on whom Darby informed, David Guy McKay and Bradley Neil Crowder, made riot shields and were ready to use them in St. Paul to help demonstrators block streets near the convention site. They also manufactured instruments of death calculated to inflict maximum pain and bodily harm on people whose political views they disagreed with.

Thanks to the information Darby provided to authorities, police raided a residence and found gas masks, slingshots, helmets, knee pads and eight Molotov cocktails consisting of bottles filled with gasoline with attached wicks made from tampons. “They mixed gasoline with oil so it would stick to clothing and skin and burn longer,” Darby said.

Darby’s patriotic effort helped to put the would-be bomb throwers behind bars. McKay pleaded “guilty” and was sentenced in May 2009 to 48 months in prison plus three years of supervised release for possession of an unregistered “firearm,” illegal manufacture of a firearm and possession of a firearm with no serial number. A week before, Crowder cut a deal with prosecutors and was sentenced to 24 months in prison for possession of an unregistered firearm.

McKay received the stiffer sentence largely because he told a tall tale about Darby’s involvement in the plot.

As the U.S. Department of Justice reported in a press release available on the Internet, during sentencing the trial judge went out of his way to make a specific legal finding that McKay obstructed justice by falsely accusing Darby of inducing him to manufacture the incendiary devices.

McKay also confirmed that finding, the Star Tribune reported. “I embellished – I guess actually lied – that Brandon Darby came up with the idea to make Molotov cocktails.”

Yet somehow these publicly available facts could not be located by the New York Times, America’s Google-averse newspaper of record.

In the Wednesday edition James C. McKinley Jr. falsely reported that Darby had actually encouraged the conspiracy.

In the article Anarchist Ties Seen in ’08 Bombing of Texas Governor’s Mansion published February 23, 2011, the paper said Darby urged two radicals to firebomb the 2008 Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota:

Yet federal agents accused two men from these circles of plotting to make firebombs and hurl them at police cars during the convention. An F.B.I informant from Austin, Brandon Darby, was traveling with the group and told the authorities of the plot, which he had encouraged. [emphasis added]

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Minnesota this is absolutely, demonstrably untrue. That office stated the following in a May 21, 2009 press release titled Texas Man Sentenced on Firearms Charges Connected to the Republican National Convention:

A 23-year-old man from Austin, Texas, who was connected to a group that planned to disrupt the Republican National Convention in September 2008, was sentenced today in federal court on three firearms charges.

At 11:35 AM, Anonymous Browns44 said...

Part Three
A 23-year-old man from Austin, Texas, who was connected to a group that planned to disrupt the Republican National Convention in September 2008, was sentenced today in federal court on three firearms charges.

On May 21 in Minneapolis, United States District Court Chief Judge Michael Davis sentenced David Guy McKay to 48 months in prison and three years of supervised release on one count of possession of an unregistered firearm, one count of illegal manufacture of a firearm and one count of possession of a firearm with no serial number. McKay pleaded guilty on March 17.

Today’s sentence included a finding by Judge Davis that McKay obstructed justice at his January trial by falsely accusing a government informant, Brandon Darby, of inducing him to manufacture the Molotov cocktails.

Big Journalism has asked the New York Times to retract the false claim it made and correct the record. But even a retraction won’t come close to making Darby whole at this point.

At 11:35 AM, Anonymous Browns44 said...

This is not some tiny little molehill of a mistake. It is a savage, unconscionable attack on a truly great American who deserves the nation’s gratitude. It is also a wrenchingly painful smear that will stick around on the Internet for the rest of Darby’s life whether the paper ever prints a correction or not.

The implication the newspaper made was that these young men aren’t really to blame for what they did because Darby manipulated them into doing it. Isn’t it an odd coincidence that liberal bloggers are saying the same thing?

Yet another spooky coincidence: the storyline for “Better This World,” a piece of George Soros-funded celluloid agitprop that attempts to rehabilitate McKay and Crowder, happens to share this through-the-looking-glass point of view.

And it’s not the first time the newspaper has mugged Darby. It provided hostile coverage when he was outed as an informant too. Ignoring his heroism, a January 5, 2009, article focused not on Darby’s lifesaving intervention but on the feelings of “betrayal” his former allies in left-wing anarchist circles were experiencing.

Scott Crow, who with Darby co-founded the Common Ground Relief agency in New Orleans, whined the loudest after learning of Darby’s cooperation with the FBI.

“I put it all on the line to defend him when accusations first came out,” Crow said. “Brandon Darby is somebody I had entrusted with my life in New Orleans, and now I feel endangered by him.” Why someone who presumably hadn’t committed a crime would feel “endangered” by knowing an FBI informant is unclear.

You really have to wonder how such a prestigious, award-winning, agenda-setting media outlet could keep making these mistakes, if that’s what they are. But it does.

It is also important to remember that there used to be a time when spelling a source’s name wrong could get a reporter fired or at least given a humiliating dressing-down. And when the reporter’s story blackened someone’s name, it had to be right – or else.

As a journalist with 14 years of full-time professional experience under his belt, I paid my dues in the early days and got (justifiably) chewed out from time to time for comparatively minor goof-ups, so I have an idea how this might have happened.

Perhaps the reporter was pressed for time and didn’t know the back story. He may have carelessly relied on a left-wing source with an axe to grind to give him the background information he needed to add context to the story.

Maybe he was simply so politically biased against Darby that he couldn’t even see past his own prejudices and wrote that fateful phrase “which he had encouraged” sincerely believing it was true. (Snort!)

Perhaps he deliberately wrote something he knew was false or his editor changed the wording, innocently or not, to make it false.

As a cause of this I’m leaning towards good old fashioned politically motivated malice, but the nation is waiting for an explanation from the New York Times. It’s disgraceful that this damage was done to an innocent man who put his life on the line to help protect America’s hard-won freedoms.

At 11:37 AM, Anonymous Browns44 said...

my question to JG which is gone while his answer remains
Are Govt Union's being given "unequal protection" today?

At 12:15 PM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Browns44, asking me to explain to you whether public employee unions provide unequal protection for their members, when you haven't an understanding of the legal definition of corporate personhood (yet), is asking me to explain what Hartmann has to do in 350 pages or so.

The answer, if you're looking for the "quick & dirty", is no.

Until Citizens United, unions were not fully protected with 1st Amendment free speech rights. Now, they apparently are. Among other rights that corporations enjoy, unlike unions, are: (1) 4th Amendment search and seizure rights; (2) 5th Amendment takings, double jeopardy and due process corporate rights; (3) 14th Amendment due process and equal protection corporate rights; (4) Commerce Clause-related corporate rights; and last, but not least, (5) Contracts Clause-related corporate rights.

See why you need to read the book? You haven't a clue what I'm talking about, yet, do you?

Keep reading the book.

Your other comments just validated my statement about conservative "rehashed garbage". Folsom's idea (the bashing of FDR and the New Deal) isn't new stuff. Conservatives have been going after him since the 1930s, for god's sake! It's been analyzed to death, and cut up into a million pieces for further inspection. There's nothing new about this subject. But, I ask you, who's talking about corporate personhood in the news today? I'll tell you -- ABSOLUTELY NOBODY. Why? Because the idea that if it were to become working knowledge to every American man and woman, scares the s**t out of the ruling class -- Democrats and Republicans alike.

Read the damn book. Learn something constructive.

At 1:30 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 1:32 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

Why should I "explain" a Right Wing article?

Why don't you explain why you hate democracy?

Why don't you explain why you agree with fascists, communists, Arab Dictators, Nazis, and Republicans who want unions crushed out of existence?

Why don't you explain why you always side with the agenda of the economic elite at the expense of the majority of Americans?

At 3:03 PM, Anonymous Browns44 said...

Bet you have brown eyes and I bet I know why.

Are you going to read the book I suggested?
Look I know your position on corporations,I've read enough of your posts to know that. I want to know why you believe that, hence my request for information.
So far all I can tell for sure in reading it is capitalism is bad if it allows corporations to operate with the same protection as individuals. Thing I can't get over is if labor has a right to organize, why doesn't business.
I'll read your "DAMMED" book, are you gonna read mine?

At 5:15 PM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Browns44, you said...

"Thing I can't get over is if labor has a right to organize, why doesn't business."

Well, maybe this will help you "get over" it.

Businesses do, in fact, organize. They organize when they en masse capital to initially form a business (Initial Public Offering, etc.), they organize when they merge and form a bigger company (e.g. ExxonMobile, ConocoPhillips, Bank of America/Merrill Lynch, etc.), they organize when they form subsidiaries (e.g. Texaco being absorbed by Chevron; Gulf Oil being absorbed by Chevron, Wachovia being absorbed by Wells Fargo, etc.), and they organize when they form foreign subsidiaries, parent companies, or equal partnerships (e.g. Bahrain Petroleum Co. Ltd., an equal partnership of Texas Oil Co. and Socal; Harken Oil, a U.S. subsidiary of The Bahrain National Oil Company, etc.). The list goes on, and on, and on.

To believe multinational corporations don't organize is disingenuous, and plain naive at best. What else can you call the coming together of just one of the recognized functions of

At 6:10 PM, Anonymous Browns44 said...


Now we're talking, and who makes up the owners of these corporations?

I sense in your post some tension, stress or maybe border line anger. Surely something I haven't caused is it?

At 8:05 PM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...


I'm sorry, I fail to see your point. What do you mean, who owns these companies? That's Business 101, obviously, and I still don't understand what you're trying to say, unless, of course, it's that the wealthy own the largest blocks of stock -- the controlling interests, along with other corporations, mostly.

If you're trying to said "we all own" these companies (if we own stock), theoretically that's correct. In reality, that's nonsense. In actuality, the common working person in this country can never live off the dividends or profits from stock ownership.

Additionally, common stock ownership doesn't give "management authority" (you're only providing the financing), and unfortunately, doesn't make "owners" liable for corporate malfeasance and other criminal acts. It should.

So, you never answered, are you now in agreement? Corporations (business) do, in fact, organize (through the accumulation of capital)? There's no difference.

Nope, I'm not angry in the least. Are you? You seem miffed that I won't read your recommended book. Like I said, I don't want to read more "rehashed garbage". I don't have time to go over, again, what's been said by conservatives since the days of the Great Depression. Please, get a new "schtick". Bashing FDR is old and worn-out.

Conservatives live-and-die by the same tired and decades-old refrain: Criticism of the left. Unfortunately, they don't have viable solutions to offer of their own.

At 8:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Well I heard mister Degan sing about her
Well, I heard ole Tom put her down
Well, I hope Tom Degan will remember
A Southern man don't need him around anyhow"

At 10:08 PM, Anonymous Browns44 said...

So it's the wealthy who own the companies. So when the markets take a dive they suffer they greatest loss on money, right?
Of course the Teamsters and other unions invest in the stock market for their membership's pensions, right. As do millions of Americans in 401k and mutual funds. Right? But only they take the hit, not the "wealthy"?

Tell me something JG, were was the last well paying job you had not created by a wealthy person?

Oh by the way, isn't interesting how when faced with Econ 101, how your dismiss it as "nonsense". Interesting how you beleive in some grand Masonic Lodge like conspiracy controlling the wealth of nations. Yet when offered the challenge to read a book that might open your eyes to history as it happened, not as you wish it happened, you close your liberal mind.
Amazing how you dismiss anything you haven't read as "schtick". Bashing FDR is old and worn-out." When in fact if you opened your mind to the historical data found with in you would see how centralized govt control of the economy hasn't worked, and wont work now.
Which I suspect is what you really are driving for.
If centralized govt economic planning with the govt redistribution of wealth is so great how come it has not worked anywhere? Like the USSR, worked there lie a charm didn't it? Or Cuba, great example of how workers rights are being upheld. Or Greece, Ireland, Spain, Italy where the govt worker is bankrupting the nation with their demands for higher wages that can only come about by the increase of taxes which is another word for redistribution of wealth.

p.s. support your statement that "the common working person in this country can never live off the dividends or profits from stock ownership." Is it in Mr. Hartmann's book?

At 10:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Martin Luther King's Neice: Abortion a Genocidal Racist Act

No surprise Tom Degan puts up pictures of black people again, too bad, his heroes are baby killers like Russ Feingold and the rest of the waste Demon Rats out there, going down big time.

At 10:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jefferson's Guardian "the Republican Party, and all its various wings and offshoots, is head-and-shoulders above everyone else in the corrupt and dishonest category."

Yeh, that's why you preach eggheaded liberal professor BS and the Tea Party is a real grass roots movement which is anathema to liberals.

At 10:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I have 'Jefferson's Guardian' on my blog roll now and, after reading his intelligent and pithy comments here, I am a follower."- Darlene

Sounds more like a toilet paper roll, horse snicker!

At 10:48 PM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Browns44, do you live off of dividend income?

You keep evading my question. I'll ask it once more: Do you agree that the consolidation of capital is virtually the same as the organization of labor? Yes or no? Labor has every right to organize, just as corporate structures en masse their capital.

You've got it all wrong. I'm not against capitalism, but I am against laissez-faire economic policies. And, as much as you accuse me of being a communist, I'll accuse you of being a fascist.

So there!

By the way, there are dozens of countries, particularly in Europe, that have heavily socialized aspects of their economies that would put ours to shame. They work, and they work well. We should take lessons from them.

At 10:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How Ignorant Are Liberals??

Jefferson Guardian writes: this is funny:

"By the way, there are dozens of countries, particularly in Europe, that have heavily socialized aspects of their economies that would put ours to shame. They work, and they work well. We should take lessons from them."

Oh, I see, we are talking about Sweden here, get the lutefisk out, homogeneous society. Maybe Luxembourg too...

He/She certainly isn't talking about United Kingdom, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece, France, Ireland, you know, countries we hear about that are either in the red or having riots.

And Germany has followed sound economic policies, none of this laissez faire stuff.

At 12:08 AM, Anonymous Browns44 said...

JG, I never called you a name, but you have now call me one.
Name the countries in Europe where the economic system you call for works.
Never said workers didn't have a right to unionize, but then business has a right to go where they are nor forced too hire union labor. My problems is the govt workers unions. The graft they have brought about by supporting the elected officals who promise to give them the largest contract is what is breaing the back of our states govt. Even FDR knew this and prevented federal workers from forming unions.

Nope I don't live on stocks etc, I am still working and am investing on my own for my retirement. Diversification of my retirement funds is into a broad base of stocks, bonds, property, that I pick, and I control. I take a % off the top of my weekly paycheck and invest it. If you can use a computer anyone can do, it's just work. Am I rich, nope, make less than the average teacher in WI, with none of the benefits. Will I retire rich, don't know how I could if my income produced by the selling of my investments keeps getting taxed so high, but I'm gonna give it a try.

So now answer my question "were was the last well paying job you had not created by a wealthy person?"

At 12:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's get our history correct,

Party of Affirmative Action, Republicans, put in under Richard Nixon.

Party of Slavery, Democrats, Party of Bull Connor, George Wallace, KKK, Democrats.

1800 abortions every day to blacks, Championed by the Democrat Party.

Barack Obama, voted 4 times that if a baby is born in a botched abortion to let it die by not giving it medical attention.

At 4:53 AM, Blogger Modusoperandi said...

Anonymous "And Germany has followed sound economic policies, none of this laissez faire stuff."
Germany still has manufacturing. It's by far the most robust economy in Europe. As with other exporting nations (see: Canada), it's hurt not just by it's own stumbles, but by the stumbles of importing nations (see: USA).

"Let's get our history correct..."
You do know that the parties now are not what the parties were, right?

Jefferson's Guardian"I'm not against capitalism, but I am against laissez-faire economic policies."
To be fair, laissez-faire is a theoretical abstraction, with no resemblance to the current market (nor any to the ideal GOP market, no matter how often they use the term "Free Market"). Any corporation, with sufficient power and capital, to fulfill their fiduciary duty of maximizing profit*6 while minimizing investment will do what it can to suppress its competitors. Activities like rent-seeking and corporate welfare and punishing regulations are fine, as long as they get the former two and the other company ends up with the last one. Part of the GOP's talent is to incorporate a fraction of the economic libertarian's platform while ending up at something that in no way resembles laissez-faire.

More footnotes:
*4. h/t nomoremisterniceblog.
*5. Which they got from the Tea Partiers. True story. Except for this footnote. This footnote is snark.
*6. Often by passing real expenses on to the rest of us, via negative externalities like pollution and single-hulled ships in Prince William Sound with drunk captains. It's commonly cheaper to dump and run because even if you get caught the penalties are less than the extra money you make all the times you don't.

At 5:59 AM, Blogger Modusoperandi said...

Anonymous"Yeh, that's why you preach eggheaded liberal professor BS and the Tea Party is a real grass roots movement which is anathema to liberals."
Tea Party. With free advertising from FoxNews (and the MSM). With support from Americans for Prosperity (a wholy owned subsidiary of Koch Industries).
As the Teabaggers are being used in Wisconsin to fight the unions (and hide the fact that in that same bill is a huge case of crony capitalism*4) You're being used. The problem isn't too much government spending; it's too much government spending subsidizing companies that are already mature and profitable. The problem isn't lazy brown people on welfare; it's corporate welfare. The problem isn't Mexicans stealing our jobs; it's corporations exporting the good jobs (and, in some cases, getting government to help pay for the move). The problem isn't that taxes are too high; it's that corporations can hide profits offshore indefinitely (meaning that you end up paying more). The problem isn't that governent does too much to assist the bottom 20%; it's that it does too much to assist the top 2%. The problem isn't government holding back corporations; it's that corporations own government.

"Oh, I see, we are talking about Sweden here, get the lutefisk out, homogeneous society. Maybe Luxembourg too..."
Query: How come America is the greatest country in the world, but it can't out-Sweden Sweden? How come American Exceptionalism (the rightwing version of the word) means that every task needs an excuse as to why America can't do it?

"He/She certainly isn't talking about United Kingdom, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece, France, Ireland, you know, countries we hear about that are either in the red or having riots."
I don't know much about most of those, but:
1. Ireland willingly and happily traded the first steps to homegrown industry that they made in the 90's to the same kind of real estate bubble that the US got caught in (with some of the same players involved, particularly Goldman-Sachs). Then, in a fit of Irishness, the governement decided to cover the debt of private banks (when it neither had a responsibility to, and also when it would have been cheaper to simply buy those banks). Ireland went from flat broke to rich to flat broke in twenty years. It's really quite an amazing and odd story.
2. Greece is broke because Greece has always been broke. Government after government hid massive deficits by literally moving them off the books. $300,000,000 deficit this year? Poof! Gone. They even got in to the Eurozone by cooking the books. Since actual expenses never appeared anywhere, workers got insane wages and benefits (to the point that hairdressers were classified as being in "severe" jobs, and could retire early). Also, the entire system is corrupt; nobody paids their taxes (not people, not businesses, nobody), everybody bribes, and no paperwork is kept on anything (except for the property evalutuation you get after bribing the inspector to cut it by a third or more) and, when you sell a home the price you put as the selling price isn't the price you got for selling. Now it gets weird; this was done by a history of conservative governments. Then the quasi-socialists get in, check the books, are taken (to say the least) aback at just how screwed the nation is, and tell the people. To which the people reply "Screw you. I've got mine."*5

At 7:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

“The problem isn't too much government spending; it's too much government spending subsidizing companies that are already mature and profitable. The problem isn't lazy brown people on welfare; it's corporate welfare. The problem isn't Mexicans stealing our jobs; it's corporations exporting the good jobs (and, in some cases, getting government to help pay for the move). The problem isn't that taxes are too high; it's that corporations can hide profits offshore indefinitely (meaning that you end up paying more). The problem isn't that government does too much to assist the bottom 20%; it's that it does too much to assist the top 2%. The problem isn't government holding back corporations; it's that corporations own government.”
Good one. You may want to add that corporations are not in most cases returning a significant portion of profits/dividends to shareholders.

At 8:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tax reform talk?

At 8:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tax reform talk?

At 9:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Clarence Hill and Martin Luther King's niece just aren't the correct kind of black people ...

The Unions, a vast part of Blacks on the Democrat Plantation and now the Gays are just means to be exploited by the Left which stands for little of any good.

FDR did not think Unions should be involved in Government, George Meany too.

Unions were of help when there were no worker's rights.

At 10:53 AM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

Trying to get personal? My eyes are not brown but they are wide open. My eyes see you for what you are.

They see that you are an authoritarian personality in agreement with fascists, communists, Arab Dictators, Nazis, and Republicans who want unions and workers’ rights crushed out of existence.

My eyes also see you always side with the agenda of the economic elite at the expense of the majority of Americans.

You will not, or cannot, answer why, because, as discussed earlier, cult members cannot recognize the fact they are in a cult.

Politics of the radical Right and fascism is like a cult. It is the propagation of an ideological, pseudo-Christian, authoritarian belief system. It has nothing to do with democracy, compassion, or the common good, and everything to do with reinforcing the totalitarian plutocratic power of the economic elite. The US Constitution has the specific words “to promote the general welfare”. And that means taxing the economic elite, no matter what your cult leaders tell you.

US Constitution Section 8:
The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States;

Authoritarian leaders and FOX(R) spew the dogma which the authoritarian followers accept without question, for they are indoctrinated to believe that “conservatism” (aka interests of the economic elite) is morally superior to the “liberalism” (aka democratic ideals) that they must portray as godless, communistic, anti-family, and unpatriotic. The radical Right is incapable of accepting any information that contradicts their belief system.

They are a cult of fanatic true believers in the same sense as Bush family friend Sun Myung Moon’s cult of Moonies.

Look at the cult-induced blindness to organized business. Never heard of the US Chamber of Commerce, eh?

How about the Republican Party?

At 12:08 PM, Blogger Modusoperandi said...

And there are two more sections to my comment, which no matter how or when or where I post, keep disappearing sometime after they're posted.
For the record, I kept track of each part each time I "successfully" posted. The following is a list of the parts, and links to where they would be if they were still here.

A part:

Another part:

At 12:19 PM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...


The problem, I suspect, lies in your computer. From where I sit, every one of your postings is clearly visible.

All the best,


At 12:31 PM, Blogger Modusoperandi said...

Lies! In Firefox I only see one that starts with "And Germany has followed" (at 4:53am) and one that starts with "Yeh, that's why you preach" (at 5:59). And in IE I see the same two. And if I turn around, I don't see them at all!

At 3:43 PM, Anonymous Browns44 said...

"You will not, or cannot, answer why, because, as discussed earlier, cult members cannot recognize the fact they are in a cult."
Just re read your rant, and cant find a question you are asking me to answer.

Any way, YAWN, you are very boring and so very filled with hate it's past predicable. Just think if there were no conservatives, who would you hate and blame for being so miserable?

At 6:54 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

Perhaps your boredom is a result of your limited attention span, and utter lack of comprehension of anything not conforming to your radical Right Wing cult. Or would it be a due to your hatred for brown-eyed non-Aryans?

If you look at what you responded to with the "brown eyes" crack you'll see the questions.

That's ok, I answered for you and explained why.

You're welcome, my dear blue-eyed master race "real American".

At 7:05 PM, Blogger Modusoperandi said...

(presented out of order, because comments disappear)
Browns44 "If centralized govt economic planning..."
Who here is arguing for Soviet-style central planning?

"...with the govt redistribution of wealth..."
The government is involved with the redistribution of wealth. Up, mostly. From Reagan to now, the top have benefited disproportionately from booms and it's only the "little people" who are expected to suffer under "austerity" when they go bust.
When you're underwater on a mortgage you are expected to keep it up. When those well above you have the same problem, it's okay when they walk away.
When they break the economy, they get bailed out. When they break the economy, you're expected to cheer when they extend your unemployment benefits (in exchange for continuing the "temporary" tax cuts that benefit them disproportionately, and will continue to help them make the zero jobs it's helped them make since they were enacted).
When their bubble pops, bank owners get TARP (and an outcry of silence from the Right). When the popped bubble puts you in a $300,000 home with a $400,000 mortgage and Obama tries to help nine million homeowners, they get outrage from every media outlet.
When a penny is forced to trickle down, there's an outcry from the Right on the subject of Producers and Parasites. When it rolls up (also thanks to government), "they earned it". Bullshit. The Titans of Wall Street aren't a bunch of Galts. They're a bunch of born-on-third/think-they-hit-a-triple aristocrats in all but name. (At least in the Objectivist mythos, the Galts make stuff, if memory serves. Wall Street just moves money from one pile to another and takes a commission to do so).

"p.s. support your statement that 'the common working person in this country can never live off the dividends or profits from stock ownership.'"
How much do you have to invest? What's the market average change in a year? What's that less capital gains tax? I doubt you have enough to invest, that's invested in things that grow sufficiently to beat both inflation and capital gains tax and leave enough left over to live on.
In short, how much money do you need to invest at $52/share to make a dividend of 25c/quarter a reasonable income after capital gains tax?*1
Alternately, how much does it need to go up for you to sell it and reinvest in something else that hopefully rises and provides after capital gains tax?

"My problems is the govt workers unions..."
Yeah! Damn those teachers for making the amount of money I mentioned earlier that you clearly haven't read! Also, damn the bottom third of public employees (by job and education level) for making fractionally more than their private counterpart, on average, depending on the state. And double damn the middle and top third (again, by job and education level) for making slightly less*3.
Oh. Wait. That last one doesn't fit the rightwing narrative.

At 12:13 AM, Blogger Lionel Braithwaite said...

@boltok, here's the down low on Obama's accomplishments:

Read these, then get beck to me.


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